The Top 10 Best Female Bosses On T.V.
9:00 am, December 6th | by
Television is far too often an abandoned wasteland of poorly developed female characters. But there are a few bright spots these days — namely, the bosses. Turns out, when you take a good look, there are a few women in charge worth cheering for on T.V., after all.
What, don’t you watch an inordinate amount of T.V.? Are you one of those people who actually
reads? Okay, yea, you’re here so you probably do (please don’t leave). But still, picturing your life as a T.V. show is fun. And imagining what you’d be like working for a T.V. boss is even more fun. And sure, we’re not the first to point out how many great female bosses there have been on T.V. lately, but we’d like to introduce to you a new cocktail party game: Which female T.V. boss would you most want to work for? And what does that pick say about you?
The guidelines for nominees: they have to be women, they have to be bosses and they have to be awesome in one regard or another. For the most part, the nominees are all currently on the air (with the exception of one or two who were too great to leave off the least — please forgive our fudging).
So, are you a Liz Lemon devotee? A Jo Bennet apologist? Do you watch way too much T.V. like I do? Let’s play!
Liz Lemon ("30 Rock") --
Pros: How much time do you have? She's funny, smart, appreciates a fantastic sandwich when she sees one and has delightfully innovative ways of getting out of jury duty. If you like Liz you know that a little sarcasm takes you far in life. And you know you don't need to make Lemon into lemonade for her to be awesome. (What is it with this site and the food puns? Jeez.) Cons: Prone to flights of fancy -- and prescription drug-induced Oprah hallucinations (see above). Attracts "Mayhem."
2.Brenda Leigh Johnson
Brenda Leigh Johnson ("The Closer") --
Pros: Strong negotiator ( studies be damned). Cons: I wouldn't want to ask for a raise from her… and neither would you.
Jo Bennett ("The Office") --
Pros: She'll make you work harder than you ever have in your life. She shares fun anecdotes that begin with phrases like "when momma was workin' as a prison guard." If you love Jo Bennett… well, frankly, you terrify me. In the best way possible. Cons: She can make your soul shrivel with a single look (again, see above). Again, in the best way possible.
Hetty Lange ("NCIS: Los Angeles") --
Pros: Yea, I watch "NCIS: Los Angeles." And Hetty, the Operations Manager at NCIS is incredible. An Olympic bronze medal? A cold war survivor? A licensed pilot? She's all of these things. And if you like Lange, you're a discerning fan of the female boss. Cons: She tried to resign twice. Boo.
Joan Campbell ("Covert Affairs") --
Pros: Decisive, ruthless, yet also surprisingly considerate for a Domestic Protection Division senior officer (what, it's the USA Network, come on). Cons: Spends way too much time (at least in the first season) fretting over her co-worker/husband's possible dalliances with other women. Lame.
Leslie Knope ("Parks and Recreation") --
Pros: She does everything amazingly all the time. If you love Leslie Knope you're awesome and you probably drank too much coffee this morning. Have I said too much? Okay, how's this: she's the standard-bearer for complex, well-developed female characters on T.V. She loves her town, she loves her employees and she kills it at her job. Cons: Are there any?
Malory Archer ("Archer") --
Pros: From the network that gave us an entire show devoted to fantasy football, comes awesome woman boss Malory Archer. While, yes, there are (hilarious) stereotypical aspects to her character, you have to love her Machiavellian leadership style. Cons: Did I mention she has a Machiavellian leadership style?
Patty Hewes ("Damages") --
Pros: Let's go with this description from : "A fiendishly manipulative power attorney… pursuing a class-action case against a Ken Lay-like billionaire." That about sums it up, doesn't it? Entertainment Weekly Cons: About that "fiendishly manipulative" thing…
Tami Taylor ("Friday Night Lights") --
Pros: Alright, I admit it, this one isn't on the air anymore. But Tami Taylor deserves to be on this list -- because she was so much more than "Mrs. Coach." She became a school principal par excellence during the series. And, at the end of the show, when Mr. Coach gave up his cushy spot at a champion Texas team to support his wife's future as a high-powered academic administrator, we couldn't help but cheer. "Friday Night Lights" holds the distinction of being the rare sports-centric show that actually put a female lead's career ahead of the jocks. Actually pretty radical, when you think about it. Cons: Again, are there any?
Wilhelmina Slater ("Ugly Betty") --
Pros: Again, sadly, this show was jettisoned too soon. But Slater was evil, conniving and… when it came down to it, good at what she did. Was there anyone who actually thought that Daniel "My Dad's The Publisher" Meade deserved to be editor at Mode over Slater? If you like Slater you recognize righteous indignation -- and an unlikely underdog -- when you see it. Cons: Uhh, erm, well then. Okay, there are a lot. Let's not get into it.